High success rates of sedation-free brain MRI scanning in young children using simple subject preparation protocols with and without a commercial mock scanner-the Diabetes Research in Children Network (DirecNet) experience

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research, Stanford, CA, USA.
Pediatric Radiology (Impact Factor: 1.57). 10/2013; 44(2). DOI: 10.1007/s00247-013-2798-7
Source: PubMed


The ability to lie still in an MRI scanner is essential for obtaining usable image data. To reduce motion, young children are often sedated, adding significant cost and risk.
We assessed the feasibility of using a simple and affordable behavioral desensitization program to yield high-quality brain MRI scans in sedation-free children.
222 children (4-9.9 years), 147 with type 1 diabetes and 75 age-matched non-diabetic controls, participated in a multi-site study focused on effects of type 1 diabetes on the developing brain. T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) MRI scans were performed. All children underwent behavioral training and practice MRI sessions using either a commercial MRI simulator or an inexpensive mock scanner consisting of a toy tunnel, vibrating mat, and video player to simulate the sounds and feel of the MRI scanner.
205 children (92.3%), mean age 7 ± 1.7 years had high-quality T1-W scans and 174 (78.4%) had high-quality diffusion-weighted scans after the first scan session. With a second scan session, success rates were 100% and 92.5% for T1-and diffusion-weighted scans, respectively. Success rates did not differ between children with type 1 diabetes and children without diabetes, or between centers using a commercial MRI scan simulator and those using the inexpensive mock scanner.
Behavioral training can lead to a high success rate for obtaining high-quality T1-and diffusion-weighted brain images from a young population without sedation.

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Available from: Naama Barnea-Goraly,
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